Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

De Villiers, Ali keep RCB's play-offs hopes alive

De Villiers, Ali keep RCB's play-offs hopes alive

Now occupying the top spot with nine wins from 13 matches, Sunrisers are coming into the game following a 14-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in a high-scoring match, but the home team can take confidence from their impressive showing in the season so far.

Ali scored 65 runs off 34 balls with a strike rate of 191.18.

Is there anything AB de Villiers can't do?

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After Kohli and Parthiv Patel went cheaply, it was a grand display of T20 batting from AB De Villiers and Moeen Ali amassing 107 runs for the third wicket.

Hales tried to up the ante after two quiet overs by stepping out and muscling Moeen Ali's delivery towards the deep midwicket boundary. There were two absolute blinders (by AB de Villiers and Rashid Khan) but inexplicably one of the safest pair of hands in the field in world cricket, Virat Kohli, dropped two sitters. 20 runs were needed off the last over, Siraj bowled it, Williamson hit the ball in the air, Grandhomme took the catch, the match had turned in a different direction. But pacer Thampi went for 70 runs in his four overs, the costliest over in the IPL history, as Royal Challengers rattled up a massive 218/4 after being asked to bat first.

Brought into the playing XI in place of a rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Thampi was expected to help Sunrisers keep RCB's risky batting order in check.

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Kiwi master-blaster Kane Williamson's 81 off 42 balls has proved in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore won a runfest against Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep their Indian Premier League play-off bid alive.

De Villiers was modest in his assessment of his effort.

Williamson then combined with Manish Pandey as both the batsmen put on 135 run stand to take the team closer to win. The pair was united at the crease after Kohli had been bowled trying to slog-sweep Rashid Khan, one ball after having pulled him for four. If I get one or two away, I have momentum going my way. Southee toook the 9th over, Williamson smashed two boundaries off it. Moeen Ali returned for the 10th over, Williamson got two boundaries off the first two balls, the third one was sent for a six, 17 runs came off the over.

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In peerless form, Kohli has been a standout performer with 514 runs from 12 games. Bangalore batted well and then their bowlers finally came to the party to defend a big score. The Afghanistan leg-spinner returned figures of 3-27 from his four overs; his victims in the match were Virat Kohli (castled with a googly), and de Villiers and Moeen Ali, who were dismissed in the same over. With the win against the SRH, RCB have now moved up to fifth spot on the IPL table and will be looking to win their remaining games and seal qualification for the knock-out stages. He hasn't disappointed. On Thursday too, against the same opponents at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Ali faced another challenge on his hands.

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